4.6.1 Find out what youth want in terms of technology and financial services
As Equity Bank analyzed the growing youth market (87 million) and incredibly high mobile phone penetration (average 411 users per 1,000 people in 2010) and growth (average 378 percent between 2005-2010) in East Africa it sought to exploit the attractiveness of technology to bring younger clients to the bank. The first task facing Equity Bank was to understand what youth want regarding technology. Its research showed that youth want to be “plugged in” 24 hours, seven days a week. As a result, Equity provides on-line banking services 24 hours a day. Equity also found that youth prefer on-the-ground self-service channels that are simple and quick. In response, Equity has developed a series of sophisticated financial products including savings, loans, micro-insurance and investments tailored to the youth market. These services are immediately accessible through on-the-ground channels including ATMs, banking agents that provide cash deposit and withdrawals in the rural areas, and mobile phone channels. Finally, research showed that youth are concerned about controlling the risks of losing their money. The bank now uses bio data, PINs and alerts to increase security.